Introduction: Valentine Cheese Cake
Nothing says Love quite like the homemade gift from the heart and with Valentines Day Approaching you can serve up a double portion of lovin' from the oven with this Valentine Cheese Cake made for that special someone in your life.
To get started you will need a little creativity and:
1 1/4 c Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/3 c Butter, melted
4 (8 oz) packages Cream Cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/4 c Lemon Juice
2 Tbl Flour
Cherry Pie Filling
Canned Frosting or Icing.
Food Coloring of your choice
Decorative Gel Writers, Sprinkles, Candies, etc.
Food Processor or Blender
Heart Shaped Spring form Pans, 1 large, 1 small
Cake Decorating Kit
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Step 1: Prepare to Make the Crust
Preheat oven to 300 F.
Crush Graham Crackers in a food processor to a fine grind.
Pour into a bowl add sugar, stir.
Add melted butter and mix with a fork until completely blended and entire mixture is wet.
Step 2: Assemble the Crust
Pour into Spring form pan.
Shake the pan gently back and forth to evenly distribute crumbs.
Using your hands or a smooth edged coffee cup press to compact the crumbs tightly in the pan.
Step 3: Prepare Cheese Cake Batter
In a large mixing bowl beat Cream Cheese until light and fluffy.
Gradually beat in Sweetened Condensed Milk until very smooth.
Add Eggs and Lemon Juice, mix well. Blend in Flour.
Step 4: Make Your Center Color
Measure mixture for smaller pan by filling it, transfer into a mixing bowl and wash the pan.
Mix in your desired color for the center of your Cheese Cake.
Step 5: Fill Your Pan
Remove the bottom from the smaller pan and center inside the large pan, being careful not to press down and crack your bottom crust.
Gently holding the smaller pan in place fill it with your colored Cheese Cake Mixture.
Still holding the center pan gently pour the uncolored Cheese Cake Mixture around the outside of the smaller pan, filling to the same level as the center pan.
Grasp the outer edges of the smaller pan and lift it straight up. Have a saucer ready to slip under the center pan so it does not drip across the uncolored part of your Cheese Cake. Set aside.
If necessary use a spoon to gently reshape the center heart or remove drips.
*Note: Your center heart does not have to be perfectly shaped as we will correct this during decorating.
Step 6: Bake
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes until the center is set and Cheese Cake has lost the glossy appearance.
If you shake the pan gently the center of your Cheese Cake should remain firm and not wiggle.
Step 7: Add Sour Cream
If using Sour Cream on the uncolored part of your Cheese Cake spread it as evenly as possible, avoiding the colored center heart.
Return to the oven for 5 more minutes.
Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack for one hour.
Remove Spring form Pan and chill for a minimum of four hours before decorating.
Prepare the display board or plate for your Cheese Cake. I cut a round cardboard and covered it with a grease proof paper doily designed for food use.
This would also be a good time to spoon the cherries from the pie filling leaving most of the pie filling behind so you dont overload your Cheese Cake and make it soggy. You can also reserve some of the filling and drizzle it lightly around before serving.
*Note: Cheese Cake tends to crack, dont let it worry you, it just lends character to the Cheese Cake and can be disguised with decorations.
Step 8: Decorate Your Cheese Cake
Starting at the center heart pipe on any decorative message if desired. (I used Valentine colored sprinkles for my center heart after piping outlines)
Pipe on an outline and repeat around outer edge. I used canned vanilla frosting here.
*Tip: Use a cake decorating turntable to move your Cheese Cake in a circle as you work.
Use a spoon to fill area between center heart and outer edge with cherries. Move cherries around gently to fit in as many as possible.
Move finished Cheese Cake onto prepared display.
Wrap very loosely with clear wrap and chill until ready to serve.
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